Well, it’s not so much of a celebration for kids, though rumours of boyfriend/girlfriend have filtered back to me in the past from my primary school aged child. I mean, really? Either things are changing faster than I realise, or I’m just getting too old!
Well, I couldn't let Valentine's Day approach without acknowledgement and a bit of a “big up” for some of our awesome socks, that would actually fit most lovely ladies feet! Yes, we are a kids site, but I have been contacted by quite a few grown ups who have confessed to me that they have been buying some of our fab socks for themselves! And why not? I mean, if the sock fits, then wear it, I say!
So, I started to do a bit of research into Valentine’s Day and unearthed some interesting facts, the most surprising of which was that the ritual of gifts, flowers, chocolates and card giving started right here in the UK, during the 18th Century. I did not know that. But where and when did the actual day start?
Valentine's Day Is Older than you Think
Going back a bit further, it looks like the very first Valentine’s Day was celebrated in the year 496 AD and was thought to have originated from a Roman festival. It was called Lupercalia and it fell during the middle of the month of February and was held in celebration of the start of their springtime. The story goes that young men drew names of young ladies from a box and that they would then be “girlfriend and boyfriend” during the course of the celebrations and sometimes they would even end up getting married!
There’s always a tyrant!
That, however, is not the only story about Valentine’s Day and how it came about. Other stories refer to a holy priest named Valentine, who was apparently beheaded near Rome by the Emperor Claudius II (Claudius the Cruel) on February 14th, 270 AD.
Apparently, Claudius was a bit of a tyrant and was always getting Rome involved in bloody battles. He needed to have a good, strong army, but was finding it hard to recruit soldiers, since the men were reluctant to leave their wives and families behind. In true “mean tyrant ruler” fashion, he decided to ban getting engaged or marrying in Rome, hoping this would solve his recruitment issues.
Valentine thought this was not at all fair and he carried on marrying young lovers in secret. Obviously, Claudius found out, thus leading to the killing of poor Valentine, who was, for his services, eventually made a Saint after his death and now we celebrate St Valentine’s Day on February 14th!
So, there you have it. A condensed version of some of the theories as to how the most romantic day of the year started, where we give gifts and wine and dine - albeit this year, from the comfort of our homes!
Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!